Have you ‘CUP’verted? A complete guide for Beginners on Menstrual Cup – Part 2

So the other day, after a long weekend, I was asking my friend here at the office about her experience with the menstrual cup. She had seen me talking about it a lot, which influenced her to buy one and try it out. I had pleaded her to give it a shot during her periods this time. But to my utter disappointment, she just could not gather up the courage, and promised me she’ll try the cup the next time.

The incident got me thinking, and I asked myself: Are we mentally ready to update ourselves from the use of old-style ways of feminine hygiene products? Turns out, NO.

Thus, here I am, talking about the Menstrual Cups (AGAIN!!), answering a few of the questions and busting some myths around them.

I am using the menstrual cup for the very first time. How do I start?

  1. Sterilize the cup before each use.
  2. It’s best to start using the cup in the comfort of your home, as you have the resources at your disposal in case things do not turn out as expected for the first few times.
  3. Upon starting, use a disposable sanitary napkin/pad or panty liner along with the cup until you’ve mastered it. This way, you’ll save yourself from any leakage.
  4. Once inserted correctly, take out the cup in 3-4 hours to check the level of the menstrual fluid. If the cup is not completely filled, you can extend the time for an hour or two before next washroom trip and then check again. The flow varies every day for each person, usually at its peak on Day-2 or Day-3.
  5. If the cup is full and overflowing or leaking, then you either need to make more frequent visits to the loo to empty the cup OR buy the next size cup to be free for longer duration of time.

Does it hurt?

If inserted correctly, then not. Most women do not even realize its presence inside. But if it is hurting or causing uneasiness, then it needs to be taken out and re-inserted. The process may be exhausting and irritating for the first few times, but gradually you’ll learn.

Do you need to take out the menstrual cup while peeing or pooping?

No. You may feel a bit of pressure while pooping, but there is no need to take it out.

Does the menstrual cup get wet while peeing?

No. As the whole cup is resting inside your vagina (unlike tampons, where the thread remains outside), there is no chance for the stem of the cup to get wet while peeing.

How do you insert the menstrual cup?

Although, I had shared the technique and ways of folding the cup in my previous post, but I feel sharing a video tutorial would be more relevant for better understanding. You can check it out HERE.

The stem of the menstrual cup is too big for me and feels uncomfortable. What to do?

No worries. The good news is, the stem of the cup can be cut short as per your need (Yes, it can be customized). Just be careful not to cut it too short, as it would then be a little difficult to hold it while pulling out the cup.

How do I manage to empty and clean up the menstrual cup while outside?

In public washrooms, you can either wipe up the cup clean using toilet paper or taking a bottle of water with you inside for rinsing. You may then do the proper wash routine once you are back home.

Personally, I hesitate on using the semi-clean cup again and therefore, I have resorted to an alternative. I have bought another cup. If need be, I take out and empty the CUP-1, wipe clean it with water/ toilet paper, and keep it in a small bag. Then I insert the CUP-2, which I keep sterilized beforehand. Once back home, both the cups get sterilized, again keeping the other cup for emergency/backup.

Would I master the insertion and sealing of the menstrual cup in the first cycle?

You may or may not. Although not being impossible, it does take up to 2-3 cycles to get a hang of it. Meanwhile, its best using the cup when you are at home and to ‘not stop’ trying.

I am facing leaks. What to do?

Leaks may occur due to 2 reasons:

  • Incorrect Insertion and positioning: In this case, remove and re-insert the cup.
  • Cup Overflow: A bigger size cup would help you get a longer duration of loo-free time.

Still facing leaks, you can check out THIS video for help.

I am nearing Menopause in a few years. Why experiment at this age?

While the experimentation might feel a little intimidating at this stage, the comfort and the relief of creating lesser plastic waste can be motivating for some. But ultimately, it’s a matter of personal choice.

Why can’t unmarried/ virgins/ sexually inactive girls use the menstrual cup?

The answer is simple: Yes, you can use the cup. The only problem is, there is a chance of breaking the hymen, which can anyway break during any normal physical activity too, say like playing, hiking etc. But in a country like India, where many self-acclaimed ‘Modern Families’ too have orthodox thinking, this becomes a topic of debate. Hence, the avoidance.

Some good and popular brands present in India

Have a question in mind? Do ask in the comments down below, and I’ll try to answer it to the best of my ability as soon as possible and include it in this post too.

Hoping to see more women using the cups soon.

Until next time, take care!

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